EV Grieve has some troubling news this week…Peter’s of Madison Street, which featured a classic, old school painted sign, has closed, apparently for good because the interior has been cleaned out. Admittedly, I have never bought anything in Peter’s but I passed by often and have almost as often snapped this tremendous sign, which really should be located to theAmerican Sign Museum in Cincinnati — to me, it’s that iconic. You wonder how a store like Peter’s could possibly fail, since its location at the end of Madison Street at St. James Place is amid several housing projects: Chatham Green Houses, Al Smith Houses, Knickerbocker Village and others.

Peter’s had an odd geometry because the store was located on one of NYC’s sharpest triangles. NYC’s downtown area doesn’t have the strict grid arrangement found uptown; St. James Place was once part of the colonial-era Post Road to Boston, which meandered thither and yon all over the east side of Manhattan Island. When other streets were laid out the Post Road met them at sharp edges. photo : EV Grieve

Peter’s was owned by Peter Migliorini, who inherited the store from his father; the store had been in one family for decades. The storefront was featured in James and Karla Murray’s excellent Storefront: The Disappearing Face of NYC, from which the above image is taken. All ancient advertising mavens should definitely check it out, though it’ll cost you a little north of a couple of Jacksons.

Any ForgottenFans know what happened with Peter or his grocery store?

Page completed July 29, 2009

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